A vacation that will forever stay on my mind is the one I took to Banff National Park and Lake Louise, Alberta in February.
Honesty is the best policy, and when it comes to vacation destinations, my preference always leans towards tropical climates. I mean, how easy is it to pack swimsuits, shorts and sunglasses?
February in Alberta, Canada is the exact opposite of sun, sand and surf.
A few days into our stay at the Fairmont Chateau Lake Louise, my husband and I decided to visit the town of Banff. Banff is located in the heart of Banff National Park and is surrounded by beautiful snow capped mountains. The Town of Banff sits at an elevation of 4,537 feet making it the highest town in Canada.
Prior to arriving in Banff we were given a rundown of places to shop and eat. Having eaten a hearty breakfast at the Fairmont Chateau, food was not on my mind.
The opportunity to find products that were unique to Canada were at the top of my shopping list, and when our guide mentioned that there was a shop called Rocky Mountain Soap Company in the town center, I knew where I would start my journey in Banff.
At this point, allow me to insert a few things I’ve learned about taking tours with a group, especially when there are friends, acquaintances or colleagues in the group:
1. It’s okay to do your own thing. Break from the group and seek your own adventures.
2. It’s not selfish to say that you’re headed in Direction ‘X’, when everyone is going in Direction ‘Y’.
3. You’ll find that you will enjoy your time and create exciting, memorable experiences.
I entered the Rocky Mountain Soap Company store full of anticipation and questions. My desire to shop for local products was coupled with my passion to purchase products with natural ingredients.
I found out that Rocky Mountain Soap is handmade in Canmore, Alberta, a town that was only 17 miles away from Banff. The ingredients are 100% natural and the products are not tested on animals. I purchased two bars of Lavender & Basil soap and a stone soap dish that was handmade on Vancouver Island.
From the moment I started using my soap at home, I was impressed with the quality. The lavender scent is soothing, and the bar produced a rich lather in a few swipes. When I washed the lather off of my hands, they felt soft and moisturized.
Used solely as a face and hand soap, one bar lasted for two months. When a sliver of soap remained, it performed with the same quality as a full bar of soap.
I fell in love with this soap and I knew I needed more.
In March 2018, just a few weeks after my visit to the store in Banff, a change was made to Rocky Mountain Soap that made it even more desirable.
Rocky Mountain Soap Company made a move to replace the base ingredients from a blend of vegetable oil to a blend of vegetable and nut oils. More importantly the soaps were now formulated with fair trade, organic and GMO-free Shea butter. I didn’t think that the product I bought could get any better, but it did.
So, like the makings of a true soap opera, the plot thickened, and I was going to find a way back to a Rocky Mountain Soap Company Store.
Yes, I could have ordered a few bars of soap online, but where’s the adventure in that?
In the spring of 2018, two things happened that worked in my favor towards another visit to another store.
First, Rocky Mountain Soap Company announced that it would open 3 Pop-Up stores in Toronto over the summer. Second, I was already planning a trip to Toronto at the end of summer.
I could hardly wait for the month of July to arrive and quickly added “Visit Rocky Mountain Soap Comany” to the calendar on my phone.
The Pop-Up store at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto was easy to find, and I entered the store with triple the excitement of a kid at Christmas.
I shared the details of my visit to the Banff store with the staff, and told them how much I enjoyed the old formula and was looking forward to using the soaps with the new shea butter formula.
Because I had experience with these soaps, I chose to purchase slabs. The slabs are cut into individual bars in-store and one slab = 16 bars. The cost of one slab cut into 16 bars costs less per bar vs. purchasing individual bars. I chose slabs in Lavender Basil and Juicy Orange.
The Yorkdale Mall location is staffed with an amazing group of women! While I chose my soap slabs and had them cut, we chatted like long lost friends. Jamie (pictured above) is the Store Manager, and while she cut my soap slabs, Christina, who has extensive knowledge in holistic and natural wellness, encouraged me to try a couple of body products. The French Lavender Sugar Body Scrub followed by Hand Butter left my hands feeling soft and supple.
My budget only allowed for soap on this visit, but I have two more great Rocky Mountain Soap Company products added to my wishlist.
During my visit, I also met Noelle. Her energy is contagious!
Before I left the store, Jamie prepared a small surprise for me.
While we casually chatted during my visit at the store, I mentioned that after I left the mall, I would be on my way to a family gathering. As I collected my bags of soap, Jamie handed me an extra bag. It contained travel sized foot butters and a variety of soap samples for me to share with my family.
That’s how my visit to Banff started a love affair with soap.
But Rocky Mountain Soap Company soap is not just any soap. It’s a soap connected to a company that cares about the products it makes that has employees that care about the customers they serve.